Capitalizing on the insults of the ignorant
People who try to politicize everything in life love to use buzzwords such as “far-left,” “right-wing,” “radical,” “extremist” and all sorts of lovely descriptive labels to try and demean their opposition.
The worst part is when those who feel like they are being unfairly accused of such debauchery—and let’s face it, most accusations are unfair—spend so much time trying to defend against these labels.
I have a better idea — embrace them. Why not live up to your stereotypes, especially if they actually apply to your principles in some way? What is so wrong with being different anyway? Is that not the idea behind diversity?
For instance, I would certainly consider myself to be a deviant or radical in the context that I am a college student who defies most college stereotypes.
I am not a 20-year-old agnostic/atheist liberal with dreams of changing the world. Instead, I am a 33 year old conservative Christian who just wants to create a better life for my family.
In my classes, I listen to the mocking of my political ideology. I know there are students who talk behind my back or use anonymous screen names on message boards to insult my religious beliefs. Instead of struggling to defend myself, I have learned to embrace the opposition.
I accept the challenge. Since I am outspoken about such things, I know that there is a target on my back. In the “real world,” I am supposed to enjoy my white, male, Christian privilege. Here, on the campus of UNLV, I am the radical. Good.
In the world of mainstream media, Fox News and conservative radio, especially, get pummeled for being different than CNN, MSNBC and a myriad of other news organizations.
It usually takes about 34 seconds for people to litter the message boards of any of these outlets with words like “Faux News” or the go-to insults against Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney.
Through these boards, I have learned that Republicans and Tea Party conservatives hate the country and poor people. They are war criminals who are racist against blacks and Hispanics and are waging a war on women.
Conservatives want women to have no access to birth control or fair paying jobs. Republicans see terrorists every time a brown skinned person is in sight, and they want to torture them for information.
As a libertarian leaning towards conservative, Fox News and talk radio are the only places that I can learn about happenings in the world without having my personal beliefs attacked relentlessly.
I’m sorry for choosing to support media who support my beliefs because I want to avoid being insulted all the time. Apparently, when it comes to my chosen news source, I am a radical. Good.
Politically, I am closer to an anarchist than a totalitarian. I want as small a government as humanly possible without erupting into outright chaos and losing our ability to defend the United States from military threats. On the left-right scale, I would be pretty far right.
Of course, there are those who like to lump violent militias and Neo-Nazi’s in with the extreme right—even though Nazis are Socialist by definition, which should put them on the left.
So, by deeming our government incompetent, regardless of Congressional approval floating around 10 percent and Obama’s numbers well under 50 percent, and by wanting citizens to take it upon themselves to make the world a better place without the totalitarian state dictating morality, I am a radical. Good.
As a radical, I believe I am in the same camp as men like Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Martin Luther and Oskar Schindler.
Those men stood up against tyranny from totalitarian organizations, both religious and political states, and made a positive difference in the lives of all humanity.
Fighting against any truly oppressive group is a desirable trait, in my opinion. Those individuals faced their oppressors under fear of death or exile. Our current social climate is fairly tame in comparison, at least for now.
However, a feared populace rarely presents a threat to other citizens. Bloated institutions, on the other hand, often do.
Am I radical for thinking that Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party should combine their resources to rally against government and corporate tyranny?
In today’s social climate, I guess I might be. Good.